Bhaktapur, January 19
Huge quantity of bricks readied to be baked in 62 brick kilns of Bhaktapur have been damaged by incessant rainfall in the past two days.
The rainfall damaged around one million pieces of raw bricks amounting to Rs 90 million, according to Natibhai Hyomba, president of Bhaktapur Brick Factory Entrepreneurs’ Association. Hyomba said, “More than 80 per cent of raw bricks were ruined by the rain. The rainfall that began since last Thursday night also affected furnace in the brick kilns.”
When there are no adequate raw bricks to be baked, there are only two options, either shut down the furnace or keep the fire burning with the help of coals, which would obviously increase the production cost.
However, he assured that it would not lead to hike in the price of bricks for the time being as they had enough stock of bricks to meet the market demand.
Given the grim scenario, he appealed to the local municipality and the government to subsidise tax for brick entrepreneurs. Besides the entrepreneurs, labourers working in the kiln have also borne the brunt of the damage caused to bricks as they have to bear 33 per cent of the loss as per the prevailing regulation, while 67 per cent of the loss would be borne by the concerned factory owner, according to Hyomba.
Ram Bahadur BK, one of the labourers, bemoaned that the rainfall and the subsequent damage of the bricks had caused financial loss to the workers.
A version of this article appears in print on January 20, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.